It has been amazing how busy both Bryce and Zion National Parks have been. I had expected to spend a nice, quiet, relaxing two weeks here, but the campground has been full every night. As with Bryce, there are shuttles here, but most of the seats have been removed and here at Zion, you need to purchase a shuttle pass for $1 per person in advance.
Watchman Campground here at Zion is one of my favorites. First, the sites are big and paved, plus they all have electric service. Second, if you get your reservations in very early, as I do, you can get a site along the river and close to the Visitor Center and shuttles. The dump station and water fill is close by also. My site is along the river and the little paved walkway that goes to the visitor center. Cost is a real bargain for seniors at $15 per night. If you are over 62 and have a senior pass, entry to all national parks is free.
Where else can you get a view like this for $15 per night??? Also, because this site is fairly open, I have good satellite reception and good Verizon service, so I can get a strong internet signal using my mobile hotspot.
The town of Springdale is right across the river, but it is not very noisy, and being a quick walk across the little pedestrian bridge makes it easy to go to the post office or a market. Lots of restaurants and hotels, also.
My plans for these two weeks were lots of rest and relaxation, with some cleaning and reorganizing some of the stuff I have in my underneath storage "basement." Also, been grading papers for the college class I teach. And, whenever I look out of my windows, I see this:
A few more photos of the campground. There is also a non-hookup campground nearby, but it does not have paved sites or electricity. Mostly, it is full of tenters.
Just a few hundred feet away are the visitor center and shuttles.
Because of the very limited parking, you are not allowed to take a private car up the valley, so you must use the shuttles or ride a bike.
The shuttle lineup system reminds me a little of Disney World without the constant music playing.
This is a model of the valley. Today I will be headed to the very end, where The Narrows is located. The valley narrows to almost nothing here, and most times, you can wade up the river another mile or so. Only problem is that the Virgin River right now is contaminated with a toxic Cyanobacteria. There are signs all over telling you not to let pets drink the water and to wash them off immediately if they go into the river, however, there are still lots of people wading in the river--they are NUTS!!
Onto the shuttle, and away I go. This is the stop at the far end of the valley at the start of the Narrows trail.
Just beautiful huge cliffs wherever you go in Zion.
A mule deer resting a few feet from the path. None of the deer look very healthy, by the way. You can see their ribs and their fur is mangy-looking. I need to ask one of the rangers about them.
The entire length of the trail is handicap accessible, even by wheelchairs. However, it was a struggle for me at this altitude because it was slightly uphill.
This was close to the end, but I think I missed taking any photos there. Rested a while and headed back to the shuttles.
Time to get off the Disney World Ride at the visitor center and go home.
Home, sweet home! I did not realize it, but the Narrows trail was 2.2 miles long, round-trip, which explains why all my muscles are so sore and I am so tired.